San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera is seeking to get new gender neutral marriage licenses later this week, but couples can come in and get the paperwork started. She stated that same-sex couples who do not wish to wait for the new licenses can come in and apply. They will just have to change the old forms by hand until the new ones come in.
Valencia County Clerk Peggy Carabajal announced that the gender-neutral licenses will be ready by Wednesday and that she, too, would alter the licenses by hand if people wanted to go ahead and get married today rather than wait.
Dona Ana, Sante Fe and Bernalillo Counties have all begun offering same-sex couples marriage licenses. Sante Fe began offering them last week on order of a judge, and Bernalillo was ordered to start offering them, also thanks to a judge. Dona Ana’s County Clerk began offering them without prompting earlier this month.
New Mexico does not possess an actual ban on same-sex marriage, and their marriage law lacks any specificity regarding gender. A similar situation occurred in Vermont about a decade ago when the Legislature went through and changed all the laws to be gender neutral. This included the marriage law.
Vermont Supreme Court Justice Beth Robinson, who was then just a lawyer and a private citizen, took the opportunity to take the state to court in order to obtain marriage equality. The Court ruled in her favor, and after a political battle, civil unions were enacted in Vermont. Vermont would take about a decade to pass full marriage equality.